Thursday, February 21, 2008
Two weeks ago we launched a new feature that lets you create local sections on your personalized Google News page. After some feedback we've been getting, we wanted to clarify a couple of issues. We want to make sure that it's easy for you to use this feature, but we also want to ensure that publishers know how to best update the information about their sites.
First, I'll address the specific steps that you should take to use the local feature. In both our feedback and some of the press coverage on this feature, there was some confusion about how to actually create a local section. Specifically, a number of people tried to enter a zip code or a city/state combination in our main search bar and did not get the results they wanted. Currently, you must create a local section to get local results. We're working to make this more clear on the site and improve the functionality. In the meantime, here's the step-by-step process to create your own local section.
First, look for the local section on your front page and the local search bar, as you see here:
All you have to do is enter the information in this section and PRESTO! You've got yourself a local section. If you don't see this promotion, you can set up a local section via your personalized page settings. Just access this option using "Personalize this page" or "Edit this personalized page" (if you've already personalized). Once you've clicked on this you'll see a menu similar to this image (US edition only). Click on "Add a local section."
Once you've clicked on this local section link, you'll see a place to enter a zip code or city/state combination. Use the drop-down menu to choose the number of stories you'd like to see. Once you click "Add Section" you'll see this section on your personalized Google News page.
And that's it -- you should be up and running with local news from wherever you want it. We're still working to improve this new feature both with our results and the features on our site, so keep the feedback coming!
The other feedback we got came from a number of publishers asking us how they could make sure we get all the great local news they're producing and ensure they shown up in results for their readers. As we explained, most of the work takes place on our side as we read every article to understand what location the story is about. However, we also look to check that against the location of the publisher. If you're a publisher and want to make sure we have all the latest information about your site, please contact our support team. If you notice that we are not including all of your articles, please send us a list of your news sections. If you notice that we don't include location information for your source, let us know what your accurate location is. Finally, if you're not included in News at all, let us know and we'll review your site for inclusion.
We hope the local feature is a interesting and useful feature for you to get information about cities near you or of interest to you. We're always working to improve our product, and appreciate your feedback.